Dutch studio unveils colorful solar-powered village for area homeless

July 20, 2017 by  
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Studio Elmo Vemijs from the Netherlands has created a beautiful tiny home village on the outskirts of Eindhoven to help those who find themselves in dire straits. The architects designed the neighborhood layout as well as the solar-powered , 355-square-feet homes to meet the specific needs of the residents. The inspiration for the village came from the Dutch phrase “Skaeve Huse” – roughly translated as “special homes for special people.” Working in collaboration with social housing organization, The Trudo Housing Corporation , the architects designed the tiny homes specifically for individuals suffering from mental illness, drug addiction, and anyone that simply has trouble living in a traditional home environment. Most Skaeve Huses are typically temporary shelters , but with this particular project, the team wanted to create a community of permanent, energy-neutral homes that could offer long-term benefits to the residents as well as the surrounding community. Related: Missouri community is building 50 tiny homes for homeless veterans Located on a tree-filled plot of land, the neighborhood is comprised out of a series of small, energy-efficient homes. All of the structures are made out of a corrugated steel facade with protruding window frames, but each has a unique color scheme. The interior layouts include an entrance hall, living room, kitchen, bathroom along with large windows that provide optimal natural light on the interior. Studio Elmo Vermijs designed the houses as well as the landscape architecture. Using the abundance of existing trees as a guide for the layout, walking paths were created that lead from home to home. The organization of the village gives each resident plenty of privacy and independence, but without creating an atmosphere of isolation. The surrounding greenery along with the home’s cheerful colors provide the village with a vibrant, fun atmosphere. + Studio Elmo Vermijs Via Curbed Images via Studio Elmo Vemijs  

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Monolithic stone building springs up at the base of a Norwegian waterfall

July 10, 2017 by  
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Bergen-based architects Fortunen AS worked with Østengen & Bergo to install a compact service building at the base of the beautiful Skjervet waterfall in Granvin, Norway, using locally-sourced materials. The nature of the project required a prudent building strategy , so the team designed the structure to blend into the natural landscape and appear as though it had been there for years. The terrain around the waterfall site is steep and quite difficult to maneuver. However, the rugged landscape and lush vegetation around the site were carefully protected during the entire construction phase. A single trail made of natural stone was chosen as the central nerve of the project, and became the inspiration for the building’s design. Related: Snøhetta unveils spectacular makeover for nation’s second-largest waterfall The compact structure, which consists of two restrooms and a small technical room, is clad in locally-sourced natural stone. The remaining building materials including rebar fencing and concrete benches were also chosen to blend into the environment. On the inside, panels of warm plywood cover the walls, with various narrow glazed cutouts that look out over the river, allowing for amazing views of the Storelvi River, forest, and mountains. The monolithic building’s steep slanted roof , along with the natural stone facade, creates a jagged silhouette that, although contemporary in style, strategically blends into the solid rock surroundings, creating a subtle addition to the area, rather than a distraction. This achieved the design team’s original intention, which was to create a series of “gentle interventions that look like they have always been in this terrain – despite their modern form. The combination of contemporary form, ancient craft and local materials create a timeless dimension to the project.” The Skjervet design earned the World Architecture News Small Spaces Award in 2016. + Fortunen AS + Østengen & Bergo

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Monolithic stone building springs up at the base of a Norwegian waterfall

World’s tiniest phone repair shops open in London’s iconic red telephone boxes

January 10, 2017 by  
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If you’re in London and need your gadget charged or repaired, you might want to look for that iconic red telephone box. A group of London-based techies have recently opened the world’s tiniest phone repair shop– Lovefonebox– housed in the city’s repurposed red telephone box, and promise to repair mobile devices in less than 30 minutes. The company, named Lovefone , have set up their first repair shop in a red telephone booth in Greenwich, London. They decided to bring these landmarks, made obsolete by mobile technology, back to life, and convert them into tiny mobile phone repair shops with a free charging service. Related: Iconic Verbier Ski Gondolas Repurposed into Stunning Shelters to be Auctioned for Charity Lovefone will start with locations in Greenwich and Knightsbridge and are planning another 6 boxes in London. Their aim is to have 35 locations in London over the next 18 months with franchise opportunities available outside London. + Lovefone

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World’s tiniest phone repair shops open in London’s iconic red telephone boxes

FBI arrests Volkswagen executive over emissions scandal

January 10, 2017 by  
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Back in October a federal judge approved the largest automotive scandal settlement ever, nearly $15 billion, over Volkswagen’s emissions cheating crime. Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested another Volkswagen executive, who was attempting to get on a plane to Germany on Saturday. Oliver Schmidt used to be the general manager of the automobile company’s United States Engineering and Environmental Office before he transferred to Germany in 2015. The New York Times reported the FBI arrested Schmidt at Miami International Airport. Schmidt faces the charges of disobeying the Clean Air Act and defrauding the United States government. Court documents cited by the New York Times indicate the disgraced executive may be able to provide information on other Volkswagen employees currently under government investigation. Related: $15 billion settlement approved after Volkswagen emissions scandal FBI agent Ian Dinsmore said in an affidavit that Schmidt played a key role attempting to sway regulators into thinking excess emissions resulted due to technical issues instead of intentional cheating. According to the affidavit, Schmidt offered “reasons for the discrepancy other than the fact that VW was intentionally cheating on U.S. emissions tests, in order to allow VW to continue to sell diesel vehicles in the United States.” Schmidt continued to work for Volkswagen after the scandal, and in January 2016 he spoke to a British Parliament committee , maintaining the shameful actions Volkswagen took weren’t illegal in Europe. Schmidt isn’t the first Volkswagen employee charged in the scandal’s wake, but he could be the most high profile person charged. Volkswagen engineer James Liang pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiring to defraud the United States public in September 2016. After Schmidt’s arrest, a Volkswagen spokesperson told The New York Times the company “continues to cooperate with the Department of Justice” but “it would not be appropriate to comment on any ongoing investigations or to discuss personal matters.” Via The New York Times ( 1 , 2 ) and The Verge Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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Contemporary Rivershed office in Wales rocks rugged metal and warm wood

January 20, 2016 by  
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Dyson’s super quiet Pure Cool air purifier removes 99.95% of harmful particles from the air

December 15, 2015 by  
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’Tis the season to spend more time in our humble abodes, but before we snuggle in, it might be time to clear the air. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency , the average person absorbs an estimated 72 percent of chemicals in their own homes. Mold, household cleaners, pesticides, gases such as radon and carbon monoxide, and building materials such as asbestos, formaldehyde and lead can linger in the home. When breathed in, they can remain in our lungs and potentially cause heart attacks, strokes and skin aging. These pollutants release ultra fine particles as small as 0.1 microns into the air, which the lungs absorb quickly and easily. Unfortunately, they are very hard to trap in standard air purifiers. So we recently tried out Dyson’s Pure Cool air purifier and fan, which is said to clear 99.95 percent of even the most microscopic particles in the air. Here’s what we found. Read the rest of Dyson’s super quiet Pure Cool air purifier removes 99.95% of harmful particles from the air

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Dyson’s super quiet Pure Cool air purifier removes 99.95% of harmful particles from the air

Moving origami partition maximizes space in tiny Madrid apartment

December 7, 2015 by  
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Cantilevered Maison De Tière offers gorgeous views of the Belgian capital

December 2, 2015 by  
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OBBA built this affordable 538-square-feet daylit house in Seoul for a newlywed couple and their cats

November 20, 2015 by  
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Judge rules Washington state has constitutional duty to fight climate change

November 20, 2015 by  
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Our Children’s Trust is an organization that has made headlines this year for filing lawsuits on the behalf of children and teens affected by climate change. Today, they’ve just had a major victory in Washington state: a judge has ruled that the Washington Department of Ecology has a legal duty to protect future generations from the effects of climate change by reducing state limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Read the rest of Judge rules Washington state has constitutional duty to fight climate change

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